Thursday, July 9, 2009

Is it normal to have sex after marriage?

So, everyone jokes about how little sex there is after marriage.
And sex after kids? forget it!!!

And so we spend huge hours worrying about this. Talking about it. Reading books. Seeing the doctor, the shrink. Taking medications.

All, it seems, in pursuit of the notion that we should all have as much sex as we did in our twenties. Not doing it 2.5 times per week? Something is wrong! Never mind if you're in your 40s and have multiple small children, as well as two careers, multiple bills and the family dog to juggle.

The point is, maybe there is a stereotype that people don't have much sex after marriage (and especially after kids) because this is NORMAL! Now there's a radical thought! Perhaps some (much? most??) of the wailing and gnashing of teeth that we have over our collective lack of sex (ok, that I have over my personal lack of sex!) is based on the entirely false assumption that we should still be having sex like we did in that summer after the junior year of college.

Sure we (ok, I!) would love to be having that much sex again. But I would also love to be as fit as I was back then, too. And to have as good a memory. And as much hair. And... etc, etc, etc.

Of course, couples that are having that extra sex do seem to be enjoying it, (Bully for them!) but that doesn't make it somehow pathological that I am now so chaste.

I can worry all I like about sex, and sure, the topic can wind me up at times. But for a guy like me to worry about it says I am already doing pretty darn well on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
I mean, I am not worrying about my next meal, my job, my health, my family's health. We live in peace and prosperity and our family is reasonably harmonious. And it is only because of all of this that I can worry about (and indulge myself so far as to write a blog about!) sex as much as I do.

Looking at Maslow's hierarchy more closely, I am intrigued to see that it is not nearly so high as I assumed.
I am also intrigued to see that sex is listed in two different positions: once on the same level as food, clothing and shelter; and then again higher up along with friendship and family.

Hmm. It all seemed so simple when I started this posting. But that hierarchy has got me wondering again.
Sex as a basic physiological need?
Curiouser and curiouser.

This whole sex thing would be pretty hard to figure out even if it were something our society had a healthy discourse about.
As it is, it feels rather like the classic enigma wraped in a riddle, shrouded in a mystery.

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